In Modest Action, Qatar Holds Its 1st Legislative Council Ballot

Qataris on Saturday headed to the surveys to choose two-thirds of the 45-member Shura Council, which drafts laws, approves state budges, debates major issues and gives advice to judgment emir Sheikh Tamim container Hamad Al Thani. The body does not have sway, however, over matters of protection, safety and security and the economic climate.

The vast majority of the nearly 300 candidates are males, with nearly all hailing from the same family or tribe in several areas.

The nation’s electoral law, which differentiates in between born and naturalized Qatari citizens, and bars the latter from electoral participation, has drawn criticism from legal rights teams. In a report last month, Human Legal right Watch explained the system as “discriminatory,” leaving out thousands of Qataris from running or voting. The disqualifications have sparked small tribal demonstrations that caused several arrests.

Sheikh Tamim, that previously elected all the council participants, will certainly handpick the remaining 15 participants of the body and retain ultimate authority over decision-making in the energy-rich nation. Like various other Gulf Arab states, Qatar bans political parties. International employees surpass Qatari residents in the small nation of 2.8 million nearly nine to one.

Among the sheikhdoms of the Persian Gulf, just Kuwait’s parliament has authentic sway over the federal government, with lawmakers encouraged to introduce laws and question preachers. The chosen body, however, clashes regularly and raucously with the emir-appointed Cabinet, obstructing major initiatives and hampering financial advancement.